Recent research reported in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic on an infant with difficulty latching to breastfeed, reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in managing these infants. The literature included supports the role of chiropractic in infants suffering from this health challenge and calls for more research in this area.
“Numerous case studies and some clinical studies are revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system and the various health challenges that infants experience” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study.
McCoy added “In the case report presented, the infant was suffering from difficulty breastfeeding that resolved under chiropractic care because of the nature of the nervous system and its relationship to the spine. Anytime there are imbalances in the head and neck this can alter the infant’s ability to latch on the breast to nurse properly.”
According to researchers the nervous system controls and coordinates all functions of the body and structural shifts in the spine can occur that obstruct the nerves and interfere with their function. By removing the structural shifts, chiropractic improves nerve supply and function.
The infant reported on in the study was a 4-day-old male suffering from a flat head, recessed jaw and difficulty with latching to breastfeed, even with a nipple shield. His mother reported he could only feed using a bottle and had to held in specific positions.
The chiropractor examined the infant and found structural shifts, tight muscles, and limited motion in his head, jaw, upper neck, upper back, and pelvis. These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.
Following chiropractic adjustments, he experienced resolution and was able to breastfeed successfully.
The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in infants with difficulty latching to breastfeed.